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A Living Room Update


I’ve been making some updates to our living room. It will be having a little cosmetic surgery this year. Aka. paint & and wallpaper. It’s taken me over a year to convince the OH to let me get on with it. Which has been pretty annoying (did you hear that, my beloved??)

So to keep my creative juices from drying up, i’ve been changing all the things that he can’t really get a bee in his little bonnet about.

Come see…


Head of a Skeleton with a Burning Cigarette by Van Gogh.

Some new art anyone?

I don’t know how i’ve never seen this before. Painted in 1886, Van Gogh did “hipster” before the word hipster even existed. A purchase from, my new favourite place to spend an hour ogling new art. And old art apparently. That’s enough skulls for this room now.


I do have Montel, the copper skull too, remember!?



No, that doesn’t work, Karen.


Art that was originally hanging on the wall opposite is now sitting here.  I quite like how it adds some contrast to that black wall. And Ned the sexy brass lamp from BHS still looking mighty fine if I do say so myself.

Oh and see my hand? I’ve been looking around for a brass hand for ages.

Like these beauties I found on But for the best part of £100 each, that was a little too deep to dig in the pockets. Eeesh!


So I did some scouting and went for this poseable wooden hand from Hobbycraft. At £15, that was much more like it. I can see this being used a lot for styling purposes, making rudey’s and I’m sure my 3 y/o will like playing with breaking it too.



I know. You’re tutting aren’t you? Well I don’t blame you to be honest. This room has had every lamp changed now. It’s a problem. I do know this. I just frickin love lighting. And how could I not get this? It’s inspired by the French Industrial Jielde lamps, which are stunningly beautiful and way out of my price range.

jielde floor lamp.jpg

Here they are looking rather tempting on And being really expensive. Selling upwards of £500 each **sigh**.


My new baby is the Bronze Artie Floor Lamp from BHS. Home Stores of Britain have done it again.

I snagged it after Christmas, full of flu and properly feeling sorry for myself. This was retail therapy for sure. BHS had a lighting sale event on, which had another sale on top. And then money back through Topcashback which I use for everything online, took the price down from £175 to about £75. And you know what, it’s now down to £50. It will sell out v. quickly so get a wriggle on if you’re getting sweaty palms.

I am super chuffed I took a punt on it. I will never, not love this lamp. It’s like an Anglepoise. A classic design that’s always going to look real good, whatever room it’s standing in.


A cool reflection of the living room and my current favourite line ever, from any film ever. Written up on my DIY Interactive Art is the line is from The Sound of Music. It was on, on New Year’s Day and I watched it from my sick bed. But, the first time I heard it was on Family Guy about five years ago. It had me creasing up. Seriously.

If you’re not laughing, then we can’t be friends.

**half of readers leave**

Ok, if you’ve got this far, thanks, you’re one of my favourite people 🙂 Let’s check out the final hot piece of ass to make its way into our living room.


Can I get a whoop whoop?

An original set of 12 mid-century index drawers. I’ve been searching for some for about three hundred years (three months). Since The Vintage Homeshow in Leeds in fact. They’re really hard to find and if you do manage to spy some, they’re ridiculously overpriced. Pffft. But at last, I found some on eBay. Perfect height for another side table by the sofa, extra storage for all the toys from Chrimbles and another surface for me to style and obsess over. Yay!


And that ladies and gents, is the current living room situation. I hope you like the little updates i’ve made. Which piece is your fave?


I will be needing your help soon to choose some wallpaper for this room. I’ve narrowed it down to about four, maybe five. I shall be back soon to show you my current selection. Exciting.



  1. It’s all amazing! I loved Ned when I first saw him, but now I love Artie more 🙂 But the pièce de résistance has to be the index drawers, just wow.
    Intrigued to see your wall paper choices – show us soon!

    • I can’t wait to show you them. I seriously need some guidance on what to choose as i’m just changing my mind every day! Really glad you love Artie 🙂 Ned seems fine about it. And yeah the index drawers are pretty spesh!

  2. Oh man Karen. It’s just so FUCKING COOL. How are you allowed to be this cool? I read your blog and look at your house and just feel inadequate like the girl at school that’d never be able to sit at your table. Your art. Ugh, it’s just so good. I want you to know that I went and spent some dollah at Society6 recently – filled up my cart with wild abandon because there’s so much good shit on there and yes, I copied one of your choices and I hope you don’t hate me now. #stalker

    I am also very keen on seeing your wallpaper choices. I’ve chosen one for my dining room and waiting on samples now and if it doesn’t work out, I may cry because I’m in love with it.

    Also, we don’t actually live THAT far from each other and I think we should plan a date to hang out and talk interior design crap. And maybe include some cocktails/wine/spirit of your choice. (graduates to #megastalker).


    • P.S. I LOL’d at the family guy clip. I think that means I can be very awkward and sit at the table near yours at lunch and offer you my yoghurt.

      • I can’t stop laughing at it. Even now… we’re still saying it at home. Every time someone leaves a room. Cracking up over here!

    • Haha. Are you serious? Have you seen your home?? I am so not cool. I am a complete geek. I shall show you a picture of me from school. I was known as Penfold. It wasn’t a good look. Can’t wait to see what art you went for, so much amazing stuff on that site isn’t there? (Was it Mariana that made the cut?) And i’d definitely be up for arranging a play date 🙂 Sounds like it would be a fun avo/eve. Let’s get some dates sorted. Oh and yes, wallpaper. I’m excited to get on that tip. I’m also excited to see what you’re going to be doing with yours… I have an idea of what it might be 🙂 Thanks so much for the ace comment Kimberly. Means so much coming from someone with the most excellent of tastes!xxx

      • Yes it was totally Mariana!! Oh my god I’M SO TRANSPARENT.I really wanted “Let Go” (the one with the swans) and I was thinking of getting it in a really big size but I know my other half well and I knew he’d think it was too weird and I didn’t want to push my luck… 😉 #spoilsport

        I’d love to hear what you think I might do in the dining room!! Ooooh a little insight into what people think goes on in my brain (it’s not pretty in there let me tell you that).

        Cool on the play date!! Okay my calendar is sort of all over the place but if you can come up with some potential dates/what you fancy doing/etc then we’ll talk! Drop me an email or send me something on FB and we shall sort it!!

        Mwah!! For that last comment – the feeling is mutual my dear 😉


  3. Oh now stop it. But many many thanks for saying such wonderful things about my home. So so lovely of you, Karen. You guys have made me smile so much today 🙂 x

  4. Jen Stanbrook says

    Oh I have total living room envy. I’m going to take inspiration (ahem…read *copy*) you, I love so much of this. Your art, your lighting, your colour combos… love love love xx

  5. madaboutthehouse says

    I LOVE this room. What colour is the paint on the walls? The dark one? It’s a seriously fabulous colour. Love the index drawers too – I have been after something similar for a while – you’re right they’re earbleedingly expensive. Great room – can’t wait to see the wallpaper you choose XK

    • Blimey, thanks so much, Kate. It’s Crown Night Fever and I love it. I tried to find a black to match the log burner. A washed out black. And this was the closest I could get. If I find something similar index drawers wise shall I give you the nod? These were £100. Which is still expensive, but not half as much as some i’ve seen sell for. But I’ve got some great contacts for salvage and vintage collectors up north which by their very nature will be more cost effective than their counterparts down south….x

  6. Wow! I never would have had the guts to go with such a dark colour on the walls but it looks amazing. I love the way you have put everything together, your artwork and the skulls and the lighting…You have a great eye for choosing quirky and unique pieces that complete the room and make it special. It’s the finishing touches that I often struggle with and with this room you seem to have a knack of picking out lovely objects and artwork and it just works!

    Plus, as a keen photographer I think the shots of this room and the lighting are spot on. Love it.

    • Thanks so much Jane. Really glad you like it. Everyone who saw the room when it first went black in 2014 was surprised by how much they liked it too. It’s really easy to live with as a colour. Can’t wait to paint the other walls too!

  7. Love this Karen! I also love that your living room looks weirdly similar to mine (same black paint in the alcoves – great minds dude), except that yours is fab and mine is ahem, well, a work in progress (though does have a rather nifty art deco style mantelpiece). Adore the index drawers and Artie (tho feeling bad that none of my lamps have names just yet) and you have given me soooo many ideas for my gaff. I also think most episodes of Family Guy should result in laughter and tea spittage. It’s just too damn silly. Well jel of your play-date with the lovely Kimberly. Tell me you all live in London so I can come and play too sometime (or sit outside looking longingly at wallpaper sample discussions….!). Nice work x

  8. I know it’s not new, but I love that copper lamp in the corner with a grey shade, that’s stunning! (Where is it from?!)

    And I love some artwork, especially that quote from the Sound of Music. That’s just the best film and always has me cracking up!

    • Karen Knox says

      Oh i’ve had this rug for years. Over 10 now i’d say. It’s by a company called i2k rugs, code number RO-538. Not sure if they sell them any more though. Sorry!

  9. Alyx Denby says

    Hi there!! Was wondering if you could share what paint color is on your walls?! You have SUPERB taste!!!

    • Karen Knox says

      Thanks Alyx 🙂 walls are in Crown Paints ‘Night Fever’ and Dulux ‘Nutmeg White’.

      • Anonymous says

        Ahh this is what i wanted to know what colour you put with the dark colour .So you have nutmeg white on the other walls . Any ideas on what wallpaper would also go with the black , iv seen black Walls with a check wallpaper that looked nice on the one wall….this is my fvourite though 😌Thanks

  10. Michelle says

    I would love to know where you got your rug from in the last picture. It is exactly what I am looking for. Thanks.

    • Karen Knox says

      Hi Michelle, it’s a really old i2k design. Had this rug for years i’m afraid and it’s no longer sold. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  11. Hi can I ask what colour dark gray / black pain you used, it’s gorgeous and I want to do exactly the same at my place. Thank you!


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